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Folk club do not die- they are killed

SunrayFC 19 Dec 08 - 01:23 PM
Mo the caller 19 Dec 08 - 01:32 PM
Folkiedave 19 Dec 08 - 02:49 PM
Terry McDonald 19 Dec 08 - 03:41 PM
Stringsinger 19 Dec 08 - 04:32 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 19 Dec 08 - 04:49 PM
GUEST,Ebor_fiddler 19 Dec 08 - 06:07 PM
Big Al Whittle 19 Dec 08 - 08:18 PM
Richard Bridge 19 Dec 08 - 10:03 PM
Dave the Gnome 20 Dec 08 - 04:08 AM
Phil Edwards 20 Dec 08 - 05:37 AM
Paul Burke 20 Dec 08 - 05:46 AM
Mr Red 20 Dec 08 - 06:16 AM
GUEST,lox 20 Dec 08 - 07:09 AM
romany man 20 Dec 08 - 04:34 PM
Richard Bridge 20 Dec 08 - 06:29 PM
Dave the Gnome 21 Dec 08 - 06:55 AM
romany man 21 Dec 08 - 10:49 AM
Leadfingers 21 Dec 08 - 11:27 AM
LesB 21 Dec 08 - 12:39 PM
Dave the Gnome 21 Dec 08 - 03:00 PM
Dave Sutherland 21 Dec 08 - 04:11 PM
Musket 22 Dec 08 - 03:15 AM
Piers Plowman 22 Dec 08 - 03:42 AM
Tootler 22 Dec 08 - 08:40 PM
Piers Plowman 23 Dec 08 - 03:25 AM
GUEST, RIchard Bridge 23 Dec 08 - 05:56 AM
the button 23 Dec 08 - 06:50 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Dec 08 - 07:13 AM
Aeola 23 Dec 08 - 07:13 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Dec 08 - 07:29 AM
the button 23 Dec 08 - 08:14 AM
Musket 23 Dec 08 - 12:05 PM
Girl Friday 23 Dec 08 - 12:09 PM
Richard Bridge 23 Dec 08 - 01:52 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 23 Dec 08 - 01:53 PM
GUEST,Ebor_fiddler 23 Dec 08 - 04:20 PM
Musket 24 Dec 08 - 09:36 AM
Musket 24 Dec 08 - 09:58 AM
Folkiedave 24 Dec 08 - 10:43 AM
GUEST, Richard Bridge 24 Dec 08 - 02:54 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 24 Dec 08 - 03:17 PM
Musket 25 Dec 08 - 10:39 AM
Richard Bridge 26 Dec 08 - 12:29 AM
Folkiedave 26 Dec 08 - 03:42 AM
Musket 26 Dec 08 - 06:31 AM
LesB 26 Dec 08 - 06:42 AM
Acorn4 26 Dec 08 - 07:31 AM
VirginiaTam 26 Dec 08 - 01:28 PM
Girl Friday 05 Feb 09 - 09:02 AM
SunrayFC 05 Feb 09 - 09:21 AM
GUEST,Larry 05 Feb 09 - 09:30 AM
GUEST,Rich 05 Feb 09 - 10:18 AM
GUEST,Girl Friday 05 Feb 09 - 10:23 AM
Aeola 05 Feb 09 - 10:27 AM
breezy 05 Feb 09 - 10:49 AM
The Sandman 05 Feb 09 - 11:08 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Feb 09 - 01:42 PM
The Sandman 05 Feb 09 - 03:00 PM
breezy 05 Feb 09 - 03:02 PM
GUEST,Girl Friday 05 Feb 09 - 04:45 PM
The Sandman 05 Feb 09 - 05:33 PM
Betsy 05 Feb 09 - 07:29 PM
Jim Carroll 06 Feb 09 - 01:58 AM
breezy 06 Feb 09 - 04:00 AM
Girl Friday 06 Feb 09 - 06:04 PM
Girl Friday 06 Feb 09 - 06:08 PM
Girl Friday 17 Feb 09 - 07:47 AM
VirginiaTam 17 Feb 09 - 08:11 AM
Dave Sutherland 17 Feb 09 - 09:42 AM
TheSnail 17 Feb 09 - 10:11 AM
The Sandman 17 Feb 09 - 10:18 AM
The Sandman 17 Feb 09 - 10:21 AM
Marje 17 Feb 09 - 11:44 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Feb 09 - 12:23 PM
The Sandman 17 Feb 09 - 12:26 PM
Jim Carroll 17 Feb 09 - 12:44 PM
Girl Friday 17 Feb 09 - 05:49 PM
GUEST,one who loves to sing 18 Feb 09 - 04:46 PM
Girl Friday 11 Jun 09 - 10:40 AM
VirginiaTam 11 Jun 09 - 04:15 PM
GUEST,Pigstrings 11 Jun 09 - 06:56 PM
Diva 11 Jun 09 - 07:55 PM
VirginiaTam 12 Jun 09 - 02:49 AM
Banjiman 12 Jun 09 - 03:43 AM
Waddon Pete 12 Jun 09 - 06:11 AM
Terry McDonald 12 Jun 09 - 07:37 AM
GUEST,Girl Friday 13 Jun 09 - 06:38 AM
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Subject: Folk clubs do not die- they are killed
From: SunrayFC
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 01:23 PM

It's not easy selling folk music.

But it is possible.

But you have to acknowledge that the audience and things around it change, and you have to change with it.

We book some big guns...Martin Carthy, Tim Laycock, Paul Downes, Boo Hewerdine, etc.

And yet we also have "club nights". Last night was just such a night, with Derek Burgess, Simon Hopper, Mummers, Carols, etc etc, and we had a lovely audience of 60 people. You can't drag them along- they have to want to come. And that's down to how you sell the thing!

Nothing is free....NOTHING!

Sunray Folk Club


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Mo the caller
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 01:32 PM

Anyone who was using your website will be turning up next week.
No date for the Christmas quiz except '4th Wednesday'


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Folkiedave
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 02:49 PM

??????? It says "next at the club Tim Laycock Jan 22nd.

And it's Thursday not Wednesday.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 03:41 PM

But Bob, how old was your audience and were they (mainly) the usual suspects? Just up the road from you (well, 20 miles), we had an audience of 50+, both in numbers and age........and our evening sounds just the same as yours - carols, mummers, food etc!


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Stringsinger
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 04:32 PM

it seems that many UK folk clubs have gotten incestuous. They have their own prescribed "rules".

The best folk club is in the living room where people can share the music unimpeded by
self-style critics. What kills folk clubs are precious attitudes and an exclusive atmosphere.

Again, trad music is best served in an intimate environment sans mics and sound.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 04:49 PM

Folk Clubs, or coffee houses; really, all venues that have folk or traditional music as a mainstay, cannot afford to be philanthropic and altruistic beyond a certain point. They have to make a living to stay in business. In the end, the owner has to decide what their specific demographic wants - or will warm to - and provide a good measure of it. This keeps the doors open and affords, hopefully, some "open mike" time for newcomers and under-exposed performers.

The comment about the best venues being private ones does resonate with me. I have enjoyed some wonderful moments in homes and back yards with other musicians and friends. I offer one thought on the typical audience critic in a coffee house or club - he or she probably can't do what you're doing, so they try to bring you down in order to feel more important. Just remember, the poor souls have to go home with themselves, knowing the truth after all.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: GUEST,Ebor_fiddler
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 06:07 PM

The only place I frequent at all nowadays, and that too rarely, is much like a club of the very early 60's before "guests" were common. It is an informal sing/play round where we all concentrate on enjoying ourselves instead of killing ourselves producing perfection (whatever that is). We are permitted to get things wrong!
And, no, I'm not telling you where it is - you kind inhabitants know and the room is full enough (well I think so, anyway) Thank you for your kind hospitality. You know who you are!


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 08:18 PM

well stringsinger - we do agree on this occasion. English folk clubs are very exclusive, and it pisses off most neutral observers, just what they exclude.

In England we need two sorts of Folk Clubs.

1) somewhere nice middle class people can go and sing very old songs in preposterous accents and their kids can play jigs, reels , hornpipes - to exam standard. I think they should be made a well paid branch of the civil service - because they would be doing valuable work preserving all these old songs - that frankly would have perished cos they aren't very interesting. people should be paid to make music there, and I would probably pay the audience even more. This might solve the unemployment problem.

2) speculative private sector places where people have a stab at something a bit creative.

I think there should be absolutely no connection between the two sorts of club. You play in one or the other. if you come down our end, you lose the subsidy.

it is only in this way we will free ourselves from people telling us that it is our duty to sit through utter crap If they have valuable work to do preserving the tradition, they can bugger off and do it in a nice well paid safe environment - and leave the folk clubs for the rest of us to hustle in.

And then perhaps folksong that reflects how the people of England speak and live, will emerge.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 10:03 PM

Funny, where were you when I was defending the right of the less than perfect to sing? Oh, yes, that's right, concentrating on ejecting anything traditional.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 04:08 AM

I love the idea of a well paid branch of the civil service doing folk clubs, Al:-) Trouble is, it already in the private sector and whatever you think of them folk clubs are run and funded by individuals, not public bodies. They are goverened by either the people that 'own' them - probably the ones which you describe in scenario 1 or by market forces which means that they will only book people who put bums on seats. Either way some people will never get booked until the government start to subsidise them!

Richard, when you were defending the right of the less than perfect to sing did you ever defend the right of the organiser to put on whoever they wanted, or the right of the audience to expect good quality music? Did you also defend the right of the smoker to smoke? In the other discussions not one single person, to my knowledge, ever said that people do not have the right to sing. The majority did say that no performer should not expect to be able to perform wherever and whenever they like.

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 05:37 AM

Blimey, WLD - did Bert Lloyd spill your drink?

But tell me when you get one of these whizzy speculative private sector place set up, Al, and I'll come along and do something creative with an old song. In my own accent. (I might even ask that John Kelly along.)


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Paul Burke
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 05:46 AM

How could you describe my accent as preposterous, WLD, and how could you possibly say I'm nice? And I wish I could get my kids to play jigs and reels, though they might sound a bit funny on bass guitar and bongos.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Mr Red
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 06:16 AM

I know of one person that has killed several clubs &/or sessions (& nearly did for a FF) until he invagled himslf into the chair of a thriving established club. That club had too many regulars but he managed to give some sufficient reason to go elsewhere and that menat driving 15 past "his" club (only he thinks it is "his" club).


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 07:09 AM

Jigs and reels with bass guitar and bongos sounds like an interesting concept to me ...


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: romany man
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 04:34 PM

from an avid i aint going back to no club againer, yes folk clubs are killed, they are killed by the very people who attend them, with the stupid rules and regulations, ideas set in stone, when will people see what they are doing, we as humans are not perfect, no music is perfect for everyone, the sit down and shut up while the demigod is on stage , or chair in the corner, brigade should look around at the real world where people attend venues and can go to the loo, go to the bar, without the ssshhhh , oh i cant hear above the sound of your breathing farting drinking page turning moving in your seat , and for gods sake dont show you are enjoying yourself by that noisy smile on your face, and cant you keep your beard, hair coat, shoes, change in your pocket quiet. oh my god that person pronounced a word wrong and oh how dreadfull was that a change of note in the song, guitar solo , call the folk police and have them locked up for ever.
people have to hone their skills, so where do they have to go, some far of island in the outer hebrides playing till the sheep, cattle dont run away anymore, sit there in some garret on the west bank of the siene as the artistes of old did, until some person of great knowledge says ok you can play in our club, but dont you change nothin or play a bum note or by god, i will shake my beard at you and remove my arrun sweater in temper, and i may even throw my sandal at you. for f**cks sake wake up, enjoy the company of like minded people around you have FUN oh sorry the folk police stopped fun didnt they.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 06:29 PM

I have today concluded that the music is not dying,

See my recent post here


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 06:55 AM

So, you never go to clubs but know for a fact that no-one has fun there? Hmmmm. Seems like the same priciple that people who do not know Romanies have very strange views about them.

OK - It's your view and you are entitled to it but please don't put it down as fact.

Thanks

DeG


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: romany man
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 10:49 AM

who apart from you said fact about people having fun at clubs im sure they do, and good on em, i never said anything as fact in my posting. only my view and taste in entertainment , but i bow to your supirior biased view, i suppose your one of the i dont dislike romanies, why i even spoke to one once, brigade, i said having been to several clubs in the past, i, thats me personally, saw with my own eyes, heard with my own ears, the ssshhh sit down shut up brigade of which, i assume you are one of. i said assume as i dont known for a fact. your posts however speak volumes to me, and thats by your own hand a fact.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Leadfingers
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 11:27 AM

Romany Man , all that comes over from that Tirade is that you haven't got a chip on your shoulder , you've got a bloody tree trunk !
True , there are idiots who have run clubs - I saw a club I had been heavyily involved in wiped out by a couple of stupid things 'The Committee' did ! And that was a club that had been running for twenty years .


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: LesB
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 12:39 PM

Whatever the club rules etc are or are not, I for one would get totaly pissed off if someone was so rude as to talk, walk around & generally ignore whoever was singing.
I would sssh them & tell them if they want to chat go to a pub & not a folk club.
If it was people singing in the pub then fair enough ingnore them & chat if you like but if someone has paid to see, listen & join in the singing then they have that right. Just as whoever is singing has the right to be heard.
Cheers
Les


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 03:00 PM

Oh ye of little memory...

Romany Man - oh sorry the folk police stopped fun didnt they.

Romany Man 18 hours later - who apart from you said fact about people having fun at clubs

I must say it is quite interesting being tried and convicted by someone who has never met me, would not know me from Adam, does not know my ethnic background and yet accuses me of belonging to some strange sort of Masonic folk inner-circle and being predjudiced against Romanies.

Well, at least he will have fogotten by morning so I guess I will not have to go to the gallows...:-D

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 04:11 PM

Well said LesB and anyone else who still upholds the "rules" (I'd simply call them basic manners - to be employed anywhere where entertainment is being provided)upon which folk clubs have been founded since the nineteen fifties. And are still being observed in the successful clubs.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Musket
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 03:15 AM

Interesting bit about Romanies.

Folk clubs Have evolved from the coffee houses of the '50s, so a big club booking guests and a group of mates in the corner of a pub are classed as the same. Likewise, old Romany families are grouped with what we call new age travellers.

I used to enjoy singing "Freeborn Man" till certain residents from a traveller site at the end of the industrial estate where I owned a unit broke in and stole tools, computers etc.

Somehow, the song lost some of its edge.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 03:42 AM

Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: weelittledrummer - PM
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 08:18 PM

"1) somewhere nice middle class people can go and sing very old songs in preposterous accents [...] I think they should be made a well paid branch of the civil service - because they would be doing valuable work preserving all these old songs - that frankly would have perished cos they aren't very interesting."

Can I be the Minister of Preposterous Accents?


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Tootler
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 08:40 PM

Would that be in any way related to the Ministry of Silly Walks?

I can see a whole alternative government coming into being here.

What other alternative Ministries can you think of?

Ministry of Pompous Pratts - How does that sound?


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 03:25 AM

Undersecretary for Interminable Variants


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: GUEST, RIchard Bridge
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 05:56 AM

Ministry of Truth?


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: the button
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 06:50 AM

"I used to enjoy singing "Freeborn Man" till certain residents from a traveller site at the end of the industrial estate where I owned a unit broke in and stole tools, computers etc."

Yeah, I used to enjoy singing folk songs until some chav ate fried chicken on the same bus as me.

Jesus wept.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 07:13 AM

Romany Man,
Why should enjoying singing and singing well be a contradiction- isn't it possible, even necessary to do both – not a matter of 'rules', just common sense.
Our experience with Travellers has been that every one of them we have met, and who have sung for us on tape, have tried to do so to the best of their ability, have usually succeeded and have apologised when they thought that theyir singing fell short of 'good' – usually totally unnecessarily.
Who am I talking about?
The Stewarts of Blair; Belle and Sheila ranked among the best singers in Britain and Alec was one of Scotland's foremost storytellers
Then there's Jeannie Robertson, her daughter, Lizzie Higgins and her nephew, Stanley Robertson – all good, skilful singer.
They have spoken at length about the need to sing well; see Sheila Stewart's book 'Queen Amang The Heather', or any of the numerous books by or about The Robertsons, or Duncan Williamson or any of the other great Scots Travellers.
We have spent thirty years listening to and recording Irish Traveller like Mary Delaney, who could make you cry with her tragic ballads, or Bill Cassidy, whose singing was so complicated that Peggy Seeger gave up on noting the tunes of his songs – and the dozen or so more who we didn't "happen to meet one time", but spent years recording, some of them becoming close personal friends.
Among the English Travellers, there was the great stylist Phoebe Smith (read her very moving statement about the importance she attached to singing well on her Topic record), May Bradley, whose mother sang for Vaughan Williams, and was herself singing like a nightingale when Fred Hamer recorded her in the sixties. Then there's Queen Caroline Hughes, who gave Ewan and Peggy dozens of songs.
The common factor among all of these was that they were great, skilful singers who totally and thoroughly enjoyed the act of singing.
As far as I'm concerned, they have all enriched our lives and we owe it as a mark of respect to make a half decent job of the precious gift they passed on to us – nothing to do with "rules" – just simple respect.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Aeola
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 07:13 AM

It's a basic fact of life that whatever you are doing there will be somebody who will ignore you or even forget that you're there and there will always be someone who will get up and walk out, for whatever reason. The performer will just get on with it. On the other hand if they all get up and walk out!!! As for some noise in the audience, ignore it, a bit like the gymnast doing a back somersault on a piece of wood 4ins wide and everybody cheering the person doing the same thing on the floor to the strains of some classic music!


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 07:29 AM

PS
Happy Christmas to all
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: the button
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 08:14 AM

Merry Chrsitmas to you, too, Jim. Not met you, but would like to over a pint or three.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Musket
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 12:05 PM

"I used to enjoy singing "Freeborn Man" till certain residents from a traveller site at the end of the industrial estate where I owned a unit broke in and stole tools, computers etc."

Yeah, I used to enjoy singing folk songs until some chav ate fried chicken on the same bus as me.

Jesus wept.



He would do if he were not a fictional character... However, my point was...

A wonderful song, full of evocative haunting beauty etc etc etc. But let's not forget, singing in the abstract is no problem at all. I have sung about Chile and the problems there in the early '70s but never been there.

However, romanticising a way of life that is abhorrent to people who choose to abide by society and it's restrictions, pay their taxes and keep the place clean and tidy who are fed up with freeloaders. Many would be bemused by a bloke in sandals and a guaranteed public sector pension telling us what a wonderful lifestyle it is. The romany culture McColl waffled on about is a history lesson now.

Still a beautiful song all the same. Just enjoy it in the abstract now...


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Girl Friday
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 12:09 PM

I keep thinking that my folk club is dying, but it has survived for 21 years now. There has never been a committee, the punters and the residents trust me to get the acts booked, knowing that they can input ideas at any time. The residents are very loyal, yet receive no financial benefit, other than their own gig once a year, if they want one. Because it is such a small club, everyone pays their way. I can't afford to book superstars on a regular basis because they want too much money, yet very few people turn out for singers' night.(well recognised subs of guest nights. ) Yet, the club survives.....


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 01:52 PM

Sorry Ian, that was one piece of bigotry too far. Or was it two, or was it many?


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 01:53 PM

And anyone who thinks folk clubs are cliquy and exclusive, should visit Friday Folk, and have their pre-conceived notions blown to smithereens.

Sue does a marvellous job, without any of the self promotion and self righteousness so often associated with folk clubs in the minds of those who have only visited one, and extrapolated from that the belief that they are all the same.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: GUEST,Ebor_fiddler
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 04:20 PM

Ian Mather: You have evidence that Jesus is a fictional character?


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Musket
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 09:36 AM

If he wasn't, you could not have faith QED.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Musket
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 09:58 AM

Sorry Ian, that was one piece of bigotry too far. Or was it two, or was it many?"

Possibly many. My point was actually relevant to the post and the overt (but genuine) view was to cause debate rather than tell you my view on something. Others had brought the Romany angle to the debate, I was trying to question the relevance.

If folk clubs are abstract entertainment, then anything goes, and let us not mix it with reality. I have a passion for Wagner, but that does not mean I am a raving nazi, I just like the music.

I used the Freeborn Man analogy to demonstrate the point. It is a beautiful song, and if I hear it being sung, I enjoy it for what it is, an impression of an idealised situation. Or escapism.

The problem is that music, and folk music especially, has a place in protest and putting views over. This is one reason why folk clubs are not so popular now. Maybe a long time ago, the vast majority of people turning up had a affinity with most others in the room? I am sure that if I were at a folk club or a labour party rally, I would be singing and saying the same, as indeed I was in the early '80s.

Times move on, and many people no longer feel they are radical, and just see a folk club as a trip down memory lane to their past.

I posted a couple of provocative comments in this and other threads in order to see if my fears were justified. Seems they are.

I stopped going to folk clubs for many years after hearing armchair socialists singing Blackleg Miner and other offensive piffle.   

I used to write songs about my life, and they were well received. After all, I was a miner, a young lad trying to raise a family in Thatcher's Britain. It was perhaps a popular thing to like them, despite the fact they were never very good on an artistic level. But, I wonder how well I would be received if I sang about the state of my stocks and shares ISA, the cost of getting my Jaguar serviced, the poor snow levels in The Rockies the other year or how downhill BA's business class has become compared to Singapore Airlines.

Still a folk club, still Ian singing about what troubles him. Somehow, perhaps not...?


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Folkiedave
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 10:43 AM

But, I wonder how well I would be received if I sang about the state of my stocks and shares ISA, the cost of getting my Jaguar serviced, the poor snow levels in The Rockies the other year or how downhill BA's business class has become compared to Singapore Airlines.

Why not try it and see?

Incidentally was it offensive piffle when the Elliots sang it?


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: GUEST, Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 02:54 PM

Those songs would be offensive Ian, and if you do not understand why it speaks the less of you.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 03:17 PM

"And then perhaps folksong that reflects how the people of England speak and live, will emerge."

But it won't emerge, will it, WLD? And you know it! If we forget what came before, all that will emerge will be some version of the latest, fashionable, commercially viable noise.

I read an article earlier today about how a fashionable 'new folk music' is emerging in the 'fashionable' suburb of the Northern English city in which I live. At least half-a-dozen fashionable forms of 'popular' music have emerged in this city in the 36 years in which I have lived here. None of them have appealed to me and they have all disappeared the moment that they became 'unfashionable'. Next week, or earlier, I suspect that 'the new folk music' will become unfashionable and go the way of the previous forms. To my mind folk music must embody elements of tradition and continuity - if those elements are absent you're left with ephemeral, briefly fashionable popular music.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Musket
Date: 25 Dec 08 - 10:39 AM

"Those songs would be offensive Ian, and if you do not understand why it speaks the less of you."

See. That's why folk clubs are dying. (The debate here, incidentally.)

Too many people putting their values to the front.

Many people moan about folk clubs dying, but do not take into account that most people are uncomfortable with the mainstream views of people who turn up at clubs.

Often sit smiling, bemused even, that people who sing songs about riding to the hounds, hunting songs and chasing the fox seem to be the same people who celebrated when Bliars's government made it illegal. Surely the protest movement was about opposing the will of government? Or am I wrong again?

Somehow, I doubt it....


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 12:29 AM

Oh dear. It really seems you don't understand. A long standing English value is that one does not brag.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Folkiedave
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 03:42 AM

people who sing songs about riding to the hounds, hunting songs and chasing the fox seem to be the same people who celebrated when Bliars's government made it illegal. Surely the protest movement was about opposing the will of government? Or am I wrong again?

Yes, you are wrong again.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Musket
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 06:31 AM

One does not brag, surely?

One once heard Ewan McColl say that folk music is all sorts of things, including recording how life is suiting you. So, when I was a miner singing in folk clubs in the early '80s, my lifestyle was something people in the folk clubs enjoyed listening to. Presumably because of some affinity or something. The more I think about it, the more I am bemused.

However, as far as bragging is concerned, I did point out that I was never enjoyed for the quality of my songs. Any songs that actually made me money were rock songs. In fact, I know of three of my "folk" songs that are on albums where I was not credited, but hey ho. I wasn't proud of them anyway.

Pity about Folkie Dave missing the point. Some of his other posts resonate with my thoughts about why folk clubs are not the big thing they once were. The bit about singing fox hunting songs and then supporting the ban is based on experience. The friend in question being able to differentiate between heritage singing (keeping history alive?) and using music to put a point across.

SO.... back to the point of the thread.

Are they being killed? Possibly yes. I was at a party a few weeks ago where my friend had managed to dig out friends from over the last 30 years, mainly from the folk clubs we used to go to. Amazing how many were like me. I was asking them if they still went and they were asking me the same. Sad that so many of us felt the same. Very few of us felt folk clubs were places to go to regularly. Times change, attitudes change, people change.

1) Folk clubs as we knew them were more than just acoustic music outlets. They still had the echos of a movement about them.

2) Sadly, few of us felt the same radical instinct any more. Protest songs no longer resonated, old traditional ballads had lost their appeal, other than for nostalgic reasons of hearing them in nicer times in smoky upstairs rooms with candles on the tables.

3) Those who had ventured to clubs again had found them clique ridden, run by committees with differing views, rules and not quite what they remembered. (Mind you, clubs with chips on shoulders have always been around, we just conveniently forget about them.)

Mind you, going out at night with the guitar in the boot is a wonderful way to end a hard day. I am looking to go to singarounds, dig up a few old mates and enjoy.

Who knows, I may even stand to the challenge above of writing a song about the world I live in... Mitch tells me he wrote "High Tech Folkie" with me (not just me...) in mind.

Got it. I feel a song coming on, about a reed cutter from Norfolk who worries about his shares portfolio.

Missing the point? I seem to have missed the movement.

Merry Xmas


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: LesB
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 06:42 AM

"Mind you, going out at night with the guitar in the boot is a wonderful way to end a hard day. I am looking to go to singarounds, dig up a few old mates and enjoy"
Is one mans group of friends another mans clique?
Cheers
Les


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Acorn4
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 07:31 AM

I think one or two comments on Ian's contributions have been a bit unfair.

They were, after all, based on the evry real experience of having his stuff nicked.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 26 Dec 08 - 01:28 PM

WTF does a chav eating fried chicken on the bus have to do with Folk music?

Based on reading here and other threads I can't figure out whether "someone" has
1. big chip on shoulder (projection of unresolved anger and no one to take it out on)
2. serious case of foot in mouth (not reading and understanding posts fully before interjecting opinion)
3. just enjoys being a shit stirrer (bleedin pain in the ass)

I would like to believe it is number 2, but then I try to think the best of people. However, racist comments are quite offputting so I am going for number 3.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Girl Friday
Date: 05 Feb 09 - 09:02 AM

Getting back to original point of thread.... Could it be the high fees some guest performers are now asking? Their worth can only be measured by the size of their audiences.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: SunrayFC
Date: 05 Feb 09 - 09:21 AM

Exactly...that's how we run our club...listen to the singing and send the guest home with their pockets full of your appreciation.

But to be fair it's not everyone's cup of tea.

Whatever happens folk has to survive, and we have to be a little creative.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: GUEST,Larry
Date: 05 Feb 09 - 09:30 AM

Could it just be that their time has come and gone? The same thing happened with bingo clubs, once they were thriving, now there are many less but some still do okay. Although folk is experiencing a revival of sorts perhaps those new 'buyers' of the genre are accessing it in different ways (festivals, recorded music) than by going to a club.
It may be that folk needs to be thinking of how to budle itself with the mainstream offer? Presumably folk clubs were the new thing some time ago and tapped into the zeitgeist? T


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: GUEST,Rich
Date: 05 Feb 09 - 10:18 AM

Just to do a Pollyanna, given some of the posts here and elsewhere which are a little downbeat about the folk club situation, all I can say is that I feel happy that I live in Southport, where the local folk club, that is The Bothy Folk Song club:

- Has great guests (old and new) and residents.
- Has great singers nights where all are welcome, with various styles and standards (isn't that what they're all about).
- Is not precious about style (but still has enough of a traditional element to still definitely be 'folk' as opposed to the oft-quoted acoustic nights).
- Is definitely not cliquey.
- Is very welcoming and encouraging to new players/ singers.
- Is also a warm, welcoming environment for new audience members.
- Has its rules yes, but very reasonable ones (as pointed out by LesB).
- Has good turn outs with old and young people involved.

And no I'm nothing to do with it, other than doing a handful of spots on singers nights. It's just that there's been a lot of 'folk club dying' threads recently, and whenever I go to The Bothy I realise that at least in Southoprt, they're not.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: GUEST,Girl Friday
Date: 05 Feb 09 - 10:23 AM

There will never be anything better than music performed live be it in club,pub,or village hall. Music is better shared than listened to in an isolated environment.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Aeola
Date: 05 Feb 09 - 10:27 AM

''the same thing happened with bingo clubs'' the club may have died but bingo carries on albeit in various social gatherings. I guess the folk club may become less numerically but folk will carry on, strange phenomena but that seems to be the way of most things.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: breezy
Date: 05 Feb 09 - 10:49 AM

by landlords wanting rent

useless performers

lack of the recognition that you need capital, to meet the fees

lack of marketing knowhow

lose so much money

The best clubs are down to enthusiastic organisers who make the effort and go to the trouble of preparing for all eventualities.

Some clubs just run their natural course and do die

some seem to go on and on and on

thank goodness there are clubs and well done to all who organise


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Feb 09 - 11:08 AM

Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Girl Friday - PM
Date: 05 Feb 09 - 09:02 AM

Getting back to original point of thread.... Could it be the high fees some guest performers are now asking? Their worth can only be measured by the size of their audiences.
no,because how the club is promoted by the organiser,plus whether the organiser and the club[could be an unpopular venue] is popular comes into the equation.
http://www.dickmiles.com


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Feb 09 - 01:42 PM

"by landlords wanting rent, useless performers........"
and by performers who regard it as a meal-ticket rather than a music worth performing for what it is.
I sort of agree with Girl Friday - but it's a sad fact that if you rely on guest performers as a main source of quality, you haven't got a club anyway, just a series of concerts interspersed with practice sessions.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Feb 09 - 03:00 PM

guests, worth, are not measured by their popularity,what codswallop .
if we followed that route entirely,the only people to get booked would be the more commercial end of folk[the popular music end ]unaccompanied traditonal singers like Geoff Wesley ,and the late WalterPardon,would not get a look in.
..    .folkclubs have relied on guest performers for over forty years,that doesnt mean they are not clubs.Clubs are places where people socialise,folk clubs are places where people socialise,at the same time expecting to hear quality folk music .
I do agree an essential part[imo] of a folk club is a good nucleus of singers of a high standard,and that good clubs should be able to run several singers nights without having to book a guest,and that they should not have to rely upon a guest to draw people to the club,in other words people want to go to the club because they want to sing,and want to improve,at the same time SOCIALISING .
but since the beginning of the folkrevival,the folkscene has encompassed different sorts of clubs,it has always been a broad church


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: breezy
Date: 05 Feb 09 - 03:02 PM

Why was it when I booked Garbutt, Bailey twice, Andrews thrice and Taylor Jeremy thrice, Irvine and Tawney the club was always packed out?

because they attracted an audience

So, to all aspiring headliners, if you dont attract an audience then you cant expect to be paid   the fee you think you ought to get no matter how brilliant you think you are, so until 'guests' recognise they dont have a 'pulling power' and get a grip on reality they should not expect clubs to pay them at a loss to the club, or the club will go under.

Quote from a long time pro, to a newbie organiser in 2001

'Keep out the traddies, they'll kill your club'

From a 'puller' who said, 'Some clubs have singer's nights to raise money to book me'
My reply was , 'we book a guest every week so the answer to that is no, your night must cover itself,' luckily it did


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: GUEST,Girl Friday
Date: 05 Feb 09 - 04:45 PM

Some clubs run as Singers/ musicians, some run on Guests... some need singers nights to help pay for the guests. Singers Nights are starting to be popular at Friday Folk at last, but a low attendance on a guest night is neither good for the club, or the guest. Fine if the club can stand a loss... risky if it can't, Good for the guest financially if the club is prepared to suffer a loss, bad for the guest's ego, bad for the club's future. Even though there are funds this year, caution is still my watchword.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Feb 09 - 05:33 PM

Breezy ,it doesnt follow that because the people you booked attracted People to your club,that they would do the same somewhere else.
Quote from a long time pro, to a newbie organiser in 2001

'Keep out the traddies, they'll kill your club; really? breezy.
well, let me tell you something ,and this illustrates my earlier point,two of the worst attended nights that I organised were for two singer songwriters[one of them you mentioned],however when I booked artists performing traditional MATERIAL ,the club was packed.
its a mistake to generalise from your particular clubs experience,clubs vary tremendously all over the country,and what may be popular in st albans is not necessarily going to be popular on TEESSIDE,or in Aberdeen
I know this pro you alluded to, [he made similiar remarks to me,and he does/or rather ,did not sing traditional material, in fairness, hardly an unbiased opinion .,as far as my club went he was completely wrong,they appreciated quality trad material,just as much as they appreciated him .


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Betsy
Date: 05 Feb 09 - 07:29 PM

Cut your cloth to suit your own particular Club - one of the problems is - Trad clubs wanting to see the latest songwriter who is "in vogue".
i.e. Where is Paul Metsers , where is Vin Garbutt ? . Believe me, being a pro - Folk Singer , night after night is a difficult Job - and make no - mistake it is a job.
It looks like picking up X Quids for doing, 2 x 45 mins spots.Totally wrong !!!
Tom McConville great guy - won Instumentalist of the Year in the Folk awards - but he and Vin will tell you (in private) all the duff gigs, but they had the sense of their own convictions to keep ploughing on.
Many try it , but the logistics , personalities, club politics ,and the idiosyncracies of the folk club organisers are some and other hurdles defeat them.
When I write these words , I think of Tom Bliss - help him through this minefield if you can - indeed a very very good performer.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 01:58 AM

'Keep out the traddies, they'll kill your club'
There you are - you've got your murderer.
Poirot couldn't have done a better job.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: breezy
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 04:00 AM

oops forgot to say that Martin Carthy packed us out too

maybe there are too many 'pros'

Dear Betsy, if its 'work' then it will spoil your love of music and performing.

Girl Friday is one one of those organisers to be admired

Long live T D L

and hows the Trev doing?


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Girl Friday
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 06:04 PM

Thanks for the compliment Breezy.... going to have to try and live up to that now! .... TDL have been up and at 'em but somewhat thwarted by the weather. Confined to barracks this week . Missed another arranged floor spot at Dartford....


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Girl Friday
Date: 06 Feb 09 - 06:08 PM

Oh.... and Trev is doing very well thanks.... see you at Fox and Hounds Monday week...... and I hope you appreciate the hours of Google Imaging involved in this !

Breezy and Fleggy here


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Girl Friday
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 07:47 AM

Right - here's the main reason folkclubs are suffering and I'm going to shout it loud!

FOOTBALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Every time there's a big match on telly everyone stays in.....WHY?


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 08:11 AM

Football- The sessioners stay away from pubs because they can't complete with the game on the big screen and the lager louts surrounding it providing loud commentary.

Good to hear that Trev is still improving. Will TDL be coming to Stoke this Sunday?


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 09:42 AM

So the traddies and football are killing the folk clubs!
Thererfore as a traddie loving, football fanatic folk club organsier, after forty three years in the game I find that I'm to blame (sorry Tam I drink bitter).
Damn I've been sussed; its a fair cop, I'll come quietly.

;-)


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: TheSnail
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 10:11 AM

Are they? I thought it was the snigger snogger John Lennon impersonators who don't know the meaning of "folk" and read their words from an exercise book.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 10:18 AM

football[there wont be many in tonight] ,I remember Jean Hedges[Arundel folk club] ,saying this in 1985,when I was playing Arundel folk club ,despite her gloomy prognostociations,there was still over 30 turned up that night .http://www.dickmiles.com


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 10:21 AM

spelling correction   prognostications


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Marje
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 11:44 AM

I can remember going to a pub session that clashed with an important football match and finding that it was mostly women who turned up. Did we despair and all go home again? No, we called it the "Footballers' Wives" session and had a very good evening.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 12:23 PM

Had a visit from Sean Nos singer Josie Sean Jack McDonagh this week-end, wonderful - apart from the fact that we had to sit through an hour of ******* rugby before we could hear him sing
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 12:26 PM

youd, have heard The Fields Of f######## Athenry, then Jim .


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 12:44 PM

I have indeed Cap'n.
.... and don't get me started about the flanneled morons who prevent me from getting Radio 4 throughout the summer
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Girl Friday
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 05:49 PM

The Fox And Hounds is a venue without benefit of TV, Juke Box, or games machine. It does have a pool table, but users are polite enough not to play on a folk night. It has real ale, cider to die for from the pump, excellent grub, friendly staff, log fire, perfect venue to escape to.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: GUEST,one who loves to sing
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 04:46 PM

Sorry to hear you sounding so bitter.
Surely turning against one another will not strengthen folk clubs.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Girl Friday
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 10:40 AM

Monday 8th June - England u 21s v Azabaijan u 21s on tv. (wow)

Present at Folk Club. Tone Deaf Leopard(organisers), Raffles and Mrs Bear.(audience).

Case proven?


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 04:15 PM

God Sue! That's terrible.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: GUEST,Pigstrings
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 06:56 PM

I don't think the problem is confined to "folk clubs" The problem is getting people off their backsides to live music gigs on a week-day evening. People work! They commute!

As far as I know concert venues and concert artists are doing ok - when you've gone to the trouble of buying a ticket, you make the effort and go out. Even so, concerts on a weekday evening are rare. Yet several folks clubs of my acquaintance seem to be pulling in audiences of 30, 50, 70 for guest nights.

Live music in pubs, be it folk, rock, whatever, is horrendously unpredictable. Sometimes you get a good crowd and sometimes you get the sagebrush nights, like TDL experienced on Monday - very sorry to hear it, Sue.

It takes a huge amount of effort to build up a following for a regular music offering and almost nothing to destroy it. A few unfortunate clashes with football matches; some bad choices of guest artist; a change of landlord; a change in the bloody weather...a "r" in the month, I dunno! Nor do I know the answer - except maybe to stop thinking of folk music as a poor relation of other forms of music and move to Saturday night clubs. There was a great turn-out at Lewes last Saturday - though they did have cracking good guests (Kerr/Fagan/Harbron)!

There seems to me a lot of b******s spouted by certain individuals on Mudcat about "traddies" (presumably the opposite of "traddie" is "trendy", the Folk Police being a special branch of the Fashion Police who decree such things as female singers appearing on TV talent shows should be young, curvy and plastered in make-up.)

I'm not going in to the "what is folk music" debate, except to say that anyone who encourages such ridiculous snobbery, whether "pro" or "anti" has completely missed the point.

I think artists too have to take some responsibility for marketing, and not leave it all in the hands of the poor old club organisers. Look to Show of Hands for a lesson in viral marketing. Their following is built on working dam' hard at keeping in touch with their fans, building a following, building a guaranteed audience. With folk music, the audience is ALWAYS at least as important as the performers.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Diva
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 07:55 PM

Rollin Hills Folk Club Melrose Friday 5 June...guest night with Brian Peters. It was full and had a large complement of floor singers and poets. It has a good regular bunch of attendees.

Denholm Folk Club Thursday 11 June Singers Night. It was packed with the usual suspects and some new bodies. We had everything from Burns to Buddy Holly and even The Twa Brithers.....Child ballads get into everything. A throughly jolly evening.

It also helps that they have their own separate spaces within the pub.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 02:49 AM

I have to hold my hand up and say guilty as charged re Blackmore Folk club last Thursday. We were utterly knackered and bit ill and so didn't attend.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Banjiman
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 03:43 AM

My last 3 nights in folk clubs:

June 1st: Easingwold (very new club) only about 10 in for excellent Canadian guitarist/ singer Rick Bockner

June 10th: Burneston, about 30 in for a singaround.

June 11th (last night): Cutty Wren, about 60 in for our Hotspot gig + singaround.

Can't really draw any conclusions from this but none of these clubs are in imminent danger of dying that's for sure.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 06:11 AM

Well said, Pigstrings.

Folk clubs are for life, not just for Christmas!

If you are serious about providing music for people to enjoy, you have to be willing to put in a good deal of work and commitment. You have to take the rough with the smooth and take disappointment in your stride!

Just recently we had only two singers at our local do. We could have moaned and groaned and despaired, but we sang to each other instead. Next week was great.

You cannot predict. You do the best you can. You do your bit to keep the music alive.

It's my belief that clubs, like plants, die if you don't keep them watered!

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 07:37 AM

We had 40 people at Wimborne last night, and 48 the week before. The great majority are singers or instrumentalists and it's becoming difficult to ensure that everyone gets two spots. If everyone who comes on a regular basis was to turn up on the same evening, we'd probably just about get round the circle once.


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Subject: RE: Folk club do not die- they are killed
From: GUEST,Girl Friday
Date: 13 Jun 09 - 06:38 AM

Thanks to VT and Piggstings for the sympathy,, and for the input from everybody else. As you say, the situation is totally unpredictable. On our opening night, helped greatly by the presence of Capella plus Mike Nicholson, we had 35 people, most of whom sung. It was magical. Slightly less turned up the following week, and it's been up and down since then, but the highest was 16. I was looking forward to Mike's gig at Friday Folk last night, as I thought he'd bring in a similar number. Alas, I was wrong, we totalled 14! We plan to continue The Foresters as a singers club,at least until they chuck us out. We do have a separate area to sing in, and it's accessible.


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